By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted Friday, August 24, 2007 4:20 PM PT
Homeland Security: Oops, New York officials hired a pro-jihad radical to run a controversial new Arabic academy. The principal quit after critics outed her. What else don’t officials know?
Protesters last week picketed outside the public school, demanding the city abandon plans to open it next month. Local assemblymen have fired off angry letters to the New York City education department to protest the school’s opening.
But it hasn’t deterred PC officials, who say they’re “confident” the Khalil Gibran International Academy will not become the Islamic “madrassa” that critics fear.
Their confidence is curious. Just this month, they saw the “moderate” principal they picked to head the school resign under the heat of a simple background check they failed to conduct.
Turns out Dabah Almontaser, a Yemeni native, shares offices with an Islamist group that sells T-shirts encouraging New York Muslims to join the “intifada” – a Palestinian campaign of terror that has left 1,221 Israelis dead. Asked about it, Almontaser defended the intifada, outraging New Yorkers.
She’s gone now, thankfully. But her hand-picked advisers and curriculum are still in place.
Who are these advisers? One is a local imam by the name of Talib Abdul-Rashid. He preaches at the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem. A simple visit to the mosque’s Web site reveals its mission:
“Allah is our goal. The prophet Muhammad is our leader. The Quran is our constitution. Jihad is our way. And death in the way of Allah is our promised end.”
This mirrors the motto of the dangerous Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that gave rise to Hamas and al-Qaida.
Have school officials bothered to check Abdul-Rashid’s Web site?
Almontaser’s curriculum includes a mentoring program in which local Muslim and Arab leaders will involve students in “community activism.” (Trips to the Middle East and internships with Muslim lawyers also are planned.) How much influence will Abdul-Rashid and other local imams have?
Before Almontaser was defrocked, Abdul-Rashid defended her against critics.
In a letter to the New York Sun, he and other advisers insisted that any “suspicions of anti-Zionism . . . are simply erroneous.”
Of course, such suspicions have since been borne out by Almontaser herself.
Seems those pushing the school have not acted in good faith, and may be selling the taxpaying public a bill of goods.
As for the curriculum, school officials insist the KGaA school will educate students about Islamic culture and Arabic, but will not promote Islam.
Protesters doubt it. They say Muhammad will be among historical figures examined as part of the instruction on Middle Eastern culture. Indeed, it would be impossible to separate Arabic culture from Islam.
Sara Springer, a Brooklyn teacher who heads the “Stop the Madrassa Coalition,” says textbooks and other teaching materials will be supplied by the Saudi-tied Council on Islamic Education. Its chief consultant is on the Saudi government payroll.
Springer wonders if maps used in the classroom will blot out Israel. Many Islamic schools in America show “Blessed Palestine” in its place.
“I am very concerned that the school will be a madrassa, funded by taxpayer dollars,” she said. “We will in effect be supporting the training of future terrorist cells.”
The head of New York schools vows to shut the school down if it promotes jihad. He says it will be monitored. Yet top personnel weren’t even screened. What makes anyone think classes will be monitored? If they are taught in Arabic, how can officials detect jihadi indoctrination?
The best way to ensure the school won’t be used as a madrassa simply is not to open it.